Our 2005 Vine Hill Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon was crafted from four special blocks of grapes grown in the acclaimed Vine Hill Ranch along Oakville’s gently sloping western benchlands. We have been purchasing grapes from Vine Hill owner Bob Phillips and his family since 1981, and they consistently yield exceptionally intense, concentrated and complex Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignons, especially in great red-wine vintages like 2005.
In 2005, a warm late winter spurred early bud break, but cool, wet, spring weather set back vine development. Atypically cool temperatures continued throughout the summer, which slowed ripening and prolonged the growing season. Warm, sunny weather in September and October, however, brought the harvest to fruition in fine fashion. Due to the early start to the season and its late conclusion, the grapes for our 2005 Vine Hill Cabernet Sauvignon enjoyed a long hang time on the vine and were harvested between October 15th and 20th.
Cakebread Cellars' winemaker Julianne Laks utilizes traditional artisan winemaking techniques with our Vine Hill fruit to ensure maximum extraction of color, flavor and tannin. After crushing the grapes, the juice is cold-soaked for 48 hours before fermentation is initiated with a cultured French yeast strain that enhances mid-palate texture, depth and intensity. After fermentation completes, the wine enjoys an extended, 20-day maceration on the skins to further extract color and flavor while softening tannins. We then gently drain the free run wine from the skins and age it in French oak barrels. The 2005 Vine Hill Ranch aged 22 months in French oak, 35% new, before bottling in July, 2007.
Our 2005 Vine Hill Cabernet Sauvignon boasts fresh, ripe, cassis, blackberry and black fig aromas complemented by dark chocolate, roasted coffee, briary spice and earthy mineral tones. Impressively dense and concentrated on the palate, with tightly woven, spicy blackberry and dark chocolate flavors, the wine showcases its depth and intensity in a dramatically lengthy, mineral-infused finish. Although this potent, single-vineyard Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is tempting now, it will blossom fully with 8-10 years of additional bottle age.